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Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators
SOC Code: 47-2071.00

Operate equipment used for applying concrete, asphalt, or other materials to road beds, parking lots, or airport runways and taxiways, or equipment used for tamping gravel, dirt, or other materials. Includes concrete and asphalt paving machine operators, form tampers, tamping machine operators, and stone spreader operators.

Sample of reported job titles: Asphalt Paver Operator, Asphalt Raker, Equipment Operator (EO), Heavy Equipment Operator, Maintenance Equipment Operator (MEO), Operator, Paver Operator, Roller Operator, Screed Operator, Truck Driver


  • Operate machines to spread, smooth, level, or steel-reinforce stone, concrete, or asphalt on road beds.
  • Observe distribution of paving material to adjust machine settings or material flow, and indicate low spots for workers to add material.
  • Control traffic.
  • Light burners or start heating units of machines, and regulate screed temperatures and asphalt flow rates.
  • Inspect, clean, maintain, and repair equipment, using mechanics' hand tools, or report malfunctions to supervisors.
  • Operate tamping machines or manually roll surfaces to compact earth fills, foundation forms, and finished road materials, according to grade specifications.
  • Start machine, engage clutch, and push and move levers to guide machine along forms or guidelines and to control the operation of machine attachments.
  • Fill tanks, hoppers, or machines with paving materials.
  • Set up and tear down equipment.
  • Coordinate truck dumping.
  • Drive machines onto truck trailers, and drive trucks to transport machines and material to and from job sites.
  • Shovel blacktop.
  • Control paving machines to push dump trucks and to maintain a constant flow of asphalt or other material into hoppers or screeds.
  • Operate oil distributors, loaders, chip spreaders, dump trucks, and snow plows.
  • Set up forms and lay out guidelines for curbs, according to written specifications, using string, spray paint, and concrete or water mixes.
  • Place strips of material, such as cork, asphalt, or steel into joints, or place rolls of expansion-joint material on machines that automatically insert material.
  • Operate machines that clean or cut expansion joints in concrete or asphalt and that rout out cracks in pavement.
  • Cut or break up pavement and drive guardrail posts, using machines equipped with interchangeable hammers.
  • Install dies, cutters, and extensions to screeds onto machines, using hand tools.
  • Drive and operate curbing machines to extrude concrete or asphalt curbing.

Technology Skills

  • Computer aided design CAD software - Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D
  • Data base user interface and query software - Database software
  • Electronic mail software - Email software; Microsoft Outlook
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Project management software - HCSS HeavyBid
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Time accounting software - Time report software
  • Word processing software

Tools Used

  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Asphalt finishers - Paving finishing machines; Power extendable screeds
  • Bituminous material distributors - Asphalt distributor trucks; Liquid asphalt storage equipment; Oil distributors
  • Chip Spreaders
  • Claw hammer - Claw hammers
  • Cold planers - Cold in-place recyclers
  • Compactors
  • Concrete paving strike offs - Vibrating concrete screeds
  • Curbing machines - Paving curbing machines; Slip form machines
  • Desktop computers
  • Dump trucks
  • Flatbed trailers - Flatbed truck trailers
  • Graders - Motor graders
  • Kettle exchangers - Asphalt heating equipment
  • Level sensors or transmitters - Transit levels
  • Levels - Laser levels
  • Locking pliers
  • Measuring tapes - Surveying tapes
  • Milling machines
  • Non contact sensors - Profiling equipment
  • Nut drivers
  • Paint sprayers - Pavement marking machines
  • Paving breakers - Pneumatic paving breakers
  • Paving material mixers - Asphalt mixing equipment; Hot mix material transfer devices; Self-propelled material transfer devices; Windrow pickup machines
  • Personal computers
  • Pneumatic hammer - Jackhammers
  • Power saws - Concrete saws
  • Rakes - Asphalt rakes
  • Respiration air supplying self contained breathing apparatus or accessories - Self-contained breathing apparatus
  • Respirators
  • Road pavers - Automatic paving control systems; Concrete paving machines; Robotic paving machines; Rubber-track asphalt pavers (see all 6 examples)
  • Road surface heater planers - Road heater-planers
  • Rollers - Manual rollers; Pneumatic rollers; Static rollers; Vibratory rollers (see all 5 examples)
  • Screwdrivers - Straight screwdrivers
  • Skid steer loaders
  • Snowplow attachments - Snowplows
  • Straight edges - Straightedges
  • String or twine - String lines
  • Tampers - Tamping machines
  • Two way radios
  • Wheel loaders


  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Rate Control - The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Depth Perception - The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Extent Flexibility - The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Static Strength - The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.


  • Interest code: RC
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Context

  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 88% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 77% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 72% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 83% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 76% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 75% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 65% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment - 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 75% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 66% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 19% responded “Important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 44% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Whole Body Vibration - 62% responded “Every day.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 46% responded “Very important.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 59% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 24% responded “Occasional contact with others.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 40% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 17% responded “Never.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 39% responded “Very important results.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 36% responded “About half the time.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 45% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Consequence of Error - 27% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 30% responded “About half the time.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 32% responded “Very important.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 39% responded “Important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 32% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Work Schedules - 80% responded “Irregular (changes with weather conditions, production demands, or contract duration).”
  • Spend Time Standing - 40% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Physical Proximity - 46% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 34% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 40% responded “Never.”
  • Level of Competition - 40% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 40% responded “Less than half the time.”

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $18.81 hourly, $39,120 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 52,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Faster than average (10% to 14%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 6,200

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